A strong church focuses on the family–in whatever form that family takes. Whether a family is a single parent or a large blended family, chances are parents will face challenges they didn’t plan on. An angry tween who can’t seem to move past a divorce, a toddler with severe separation anxiety, a frazzled parent who has no idea what to do. These are real scenarios playing out in your community each day. If you have a heart to minister to these families, this type of outreach may work for you–you should host a parenting class. Even if you’re not a parenting pro (and who is really) chances are you have someone in your congregation qualified to teach such a class.
Here’s how you can host a parenting class outreach in just a few steps.
Plan, plan, plan. Find a teacher and pick a date. A local guidance counselor, family counselor or qualified pastor are good candidates for such a job. Choose your target audience but don’t limit your outreach. For example, your teacher may specialize in parenting children ages 5 to 8 but you shouldn’t restrict interested parents from attending.
Work together on a short curriculum. There are so many great parenting books out there, browse and find one you love. The curriculum should be short and to the point. Also, parenting books that are geared completely to Christians may not appeal to people who aren’t saved yet. (Just something to keep in mind.)
Advertise your event. Word of mouth is great but don’t rely solely upon that. Create an event on your Facebook page. Hand out flyers. Ask church members to tell others.
Think about the kids. No child wants to sit through a parenting class. Provide child care for parents who have to bring their children. It’s a great way for the children’s ministry team to get to know “new” kids.
Plan on some fellowship. What a great time to get to know your church’s neighbors. Serve inexpensive refreshments like coffee or soda and cookies. Give visitors the opportunity to interact with the speaker and volunteers.
Promote the next service. Here’s where many ministries miss it–they don’t cross promote! At each event, lead the attendees to the next event. Have a fliers available or provide a topic for the next sermon or class. It’s an important part of keeping a flow of visitors in and out of your doors.